Rewrites – tedium or joy?

I was talking with a couple professional writers (books, articles) and the subject of editing (or rewrites) came up. One opinion I heard is that even though they love the process of originating the story idea and writing the first draft, these writers also find joy in the rewriting, whereas I’ve often heard from songwriters that rewriting is a drag.

The gem I learned from these writers is that their goal is to ‘get it right’ and rewrites are simply a part of that.

Perhaps because they work with longer forms (books, stories and articles), they know right up front that it’s going to take some time, patience, work and even tedium to get it right and they’re willing to live with that.

I think sometimes songwriters believe that writing a song should be fast and easy. I know it can be, at least the first draft, but even that is fairly rare. Let’s make it our goal to ‘get it right.’


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2 Responses to “Rewrites – tedium or joy?”

  1. mandythompson Says:

    I’ve compiled a self-critique sheet from lessons learned along the way – it’s a sort of checklist to help me find what’s weak/strong about a song.

    When I know I’ve got one with potential, I’ll run it through the checklist. This always brings the song’s weaknesses and needs to the surface, making re-writing MUCH quicker.

  2. songwriterstipjar Says:

    Fantastic. Would you mind sharing your checklist with us? Even though your checklist is meant for you and wouldn’t work for everyone, it will give us some ideas on creating our own, personalized checklists.


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